Hello! The final MAGIC GARDEN party of 2007 is going to be extra fantastic! We will be screening not only the very excellent movie, "Summer of Sam," but also local NYC news footage from 1977, covering the blackout. Yippee!

Instead of a quiz, I'll just throw you some cool facts from New York City circa 1977:

  • Rupert Murdoch bought The Post and transformed it from a liberal paper to a conservative tabloid (1977)
  • Between 1970 and 1980 the population of the South Bronx fell from 14,000 to 2100
  • Macy's closed its Jamaica branch (1977)
  • Sunnyside Garden, a boxing arena on Queens Boulevard erected in 1920, was demolished (1977)
  • Rheingold Brewery in Bushwick, which opened in 1855, closes. Rheingold beer is currently brewed in Utica, NY. (1976)
  • The Yankees return to Yankee Stadium after two seasons of playing at Shea Stadium (1976)
  • The Empire State Building was illuminated in colored lights for the first time; the tower was lit in red, white and blue in celebration of the American Bicentennial (1976)
  • The Roosevelt Island Tram opens (1976)
  • City University starts charging tuition for the first time, and loses 10,000 students its first year (1976)
  • Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum moves into the Andrew Carnegie Mansion on 91st and Fifth Avenue (1976)
  • The New York City Transit Museum opens in an abandoned Court Street Station (1976)
  • Staten Island's Snug Harbor Cultural Center opens (1976)
  • First NYC Marathon (1976)
  • P.S. 1 Contemporary Arts Center opens in Long Island City, in former Public School 1, built in 1892 but vacant for many years (1976)
  • NY Giants play their first game at Giant Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ (1976)
  • Rockefeller Center, Inc. planned to close Radio City Music Hall and erect a new office tower. A $2.2 million grand saved the Music Hall and the interior was later landmarked. (1978)
  • Mayor Koch insisted that WNYC radio station run "The John Hour," in which the names of nine men convicted of patronizing prostitutes were read over the radio. Koch thought the embarrassing exposure would lead to a decrease in the solicitation of prostitutes. The show ran only once because of public outcry, leading to the resignation of WNYC head, Mary Perot Nichols. (1978)
  • Fulton Street was turned into a pedestrian mall in order to revitalize downtown Brooklyn (1978)
  • The telephone company abandoned traditional exchanges - BUtterfield, CHelsea, AStoria - for regular numbers (great piece about the telephone exchange in the New Yorker)
  • The Apollo Theater closed (1978). It reopened in 1983.
  • The Spalding Sporting Goods Company discontinued the Spaldeen, a pink rubber ball sold in candy stores - an essential ball for stickball, stoopball and punchball. It was reintroduced in 1999 as the Spalding High Bounce. The Spaldeen supposedly got its name from Brooklynites pronouncing Spalding with their Brooklyn accents as "spaldeen." Spaldeens were first sold in the 1950s by Spalding, the leading producer of tennis balls. Instead of throwing out the surplus spongy, hollow, pink rubber tennis ball cores, they sold them cheaply to five-and-dime stores around NY, Philadelphia and Boston. Spalding stopped selling Spaldeens in 1978 when the company moved its tennis ball plant to Taiwan. Order them this holiday season!